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Activism

American Academy Of Family Physicians Strikes An Agreement With Coca Cola to "Educate" Consumers

The image to the left and others like it have over the last century and more become synonymous with American values. It is an icon that has become associated with having fun, being glamorous, and cool. But is it really cool to foist your poisonous product upon an organization that is supposed to be responsible for helping to influence the betterment of health of the overall populace? You decide.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has made a partnership with Coca-Cola to promote an “educational movement” to consumers about the use of various products in moderation for good health. The campaign will focus on teaching people about different sweeteners and their continued use “in moderation” as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Smells like money to me.

Is it really any different than what Philip Morris did back in the 80′s where they emphatically stated that no one could sue them for heart disease or lung cancer since they had health warnings on their products?

Well – there are actually two major differences. Coca Cola won’t actually come out and say that their products harm people – and, Philip Morris lacked the blessing of the AAFP.

This development should come as no surprise to those of us who are food activists and in the traditional food camps. But it’s no less maddening that a health organization which has influence over so many people is being allowed to provide consumers with false information about a toxic, unhealthy product.

It’s clear that companies will stop at nothing, even the ruination of the health of billions of people, to whore themselves out like prostitutes just to keep their stocks up.

Here is the message written by Dr. William Campbell Douglas to consumers, alerting them to yet one more stick in the fire for big corporations and Agribusiness:

Do you want the Coca-Cola Company getting into bed with your family doctor?

Too late.

In the ultimate betrayal of family medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians has accepted a six-figure payment from Coca-Cola. In return, the soda pusher gets to help “educate” people about sweeteners.

This is like Dracula buying his way into the blood bank.

At least 20 doctors have resigned from the organization in protest, with hopefully many more still turning in their cancellation notices.

Already, the spin is in full swing.

Dr. Douglas Henley, executive vice president of whatever remains of AAFP, said, “We will move forward with this commitment together by providing educational materials on sweeteners and how to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle while still enjoying many of the foods and beverages consumers love.”

Sorry, doc – but you should take your degree, stick it in an envelope and send it back to your medical school. Consumers may love sodas and diet sodas – but these drinks are in no way part of a “healthy, active lifestyle.”

Remember, Coke’s idea of health food is adding small amounts of vitamins to its concoctions and giving them new names, like “Diet Coke Plus.”

We haven’t seen the results of their joint propaganda effort yet, but the ingredients in Coke’s sugar-free products speak volumes.

Aspartame is one of the worst substances ever put into our food with Uncle Sam’s blessing. This artificial sweetener has been linked over the years to everything from migraine headaches and memory loss to seizures and even cancer.

One new study even finds that artificially sweetened sodas can cause kidney damage. Just two drinks a day can impair the kidneys’ ability to filter blood, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s annual conference.
And we’re going to let the people who sell this stuff educate us about it? It doesn’t take much to see this plan was flat the moment they opened the bottle.

Proving again that Coke ISN’T the real thing,

William Campbell Douglass, M.D.

PS: Another win for common sense! The “Smart Choices” program is being flushed down the toilet of history. I told you about this scandalous food-labeling scheme just a few weeks ago. The food industry created a fancy new logo to make some products look like health food – when, in fact, they were nothing but junk. You didn’t fall for it – and now, the program is being cancelled.

Read an account of one family physician who believes this move is a-okay, and that responsible consumer education is the word of the day. Having worked with Coke and other companies on other “educational endeavors,” she says, “we [the AAFP] know that we share common goals.” In this particular case, she notes, the goal is “to talk about sweetened and unsweetened beverages, and how you integrate that into a healthy, active lifestyle.” Don’t you just want to shake her?

Some physicians have actually been reported to have left the AAFP over this occurrence.

“I resigned in protest of (AAFP’s) judgment this time of epidemic obesity,” Dr. William Walker, director of Contra Costa Health Services said, “Our public health department has been waging a battle against pediatric obesity.”

Wow, that says something. I guess even this is too much for some conventional doctors.  I hope this sends the right message to the world about this debacle. Are they finally coming to their senses? Probably not.

Here is the press release from the AAFP.

This article is part of Cheeeseslave’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival. Please visit her site and read the other real food posts linked there.

This article is also part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival.